Often times a person thinks long and hard before beginning a
fitness or strength program. Along the way these questions invariably arise:
do I start?
do I begin?
do I do?
exercises should I be doing?
do I do them?
Women generally ask how do I flatten my stomach, get rid of
the flab on the backs of my arms or strengthen my bones. Men are asking how to
get a six pack and want to know how to bench press more weight.
These questions can be answered by a certified and competent
trainer. Notice I did not say just a certified trainer but a competent one as
well. A certification from a recognized source such as the National Strength
and Conditioning Association implies the trainer has demonstrated superior
knowledge, is competent to coach and is well up to the training task.
Competency and results are the proof in the pudding as the saying goes. After
all, it truly is a buyer beware situation when you are trying to get stronger and
are paying out good money for the results you desire.
The short and sweet of the beginners training starts out in
A beginning routine consists of large muscle group exercises
(as noted in the following list) featuring balanced applications of sets and
repetitions for both agonist and antagonist groups. After a movement specific
warm up is completed then each exercise is performed ten to twelve times do
eight to ten repetitions for two to four sets. A set is one group of eight to
Aerobic conditioning is your body’s adaptations to working
continuously ‘with oxygen’ or in other words ‘with air’. It is also known as
cardio respiratory endurance or aerobic power. The word ‘power’ indicates a
strong response to imposed conditions.
Cardio work is a continuous activity that puts an increased
demand on the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems of the body. Generally,
large muscle groups of the body are involved for extended periods without a
break, thus the term, ‘with air’. The original term “aerobics” came from the
father of cardiovascular training, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, of the famed Cooper
It is a recognized fact that aerobic conditioning
accomplishes all of the following:
has the potential to increase life expectancy
occur in the overall quality of life
improvements in health and well being
fatigue and increases the adaptability to meet the challenges of each day as
can improve appearance, posture, self confidence and self concept
body composition changes occur with regular aerobic exercise
endurance and muscle tone changes are positive in nature
in relaxation ability and decreased sleep pattern disruptions
cardiovascular changes and improved sport performance result from aerobic
in blood pressure and cholesterol may result-studies indicate this to be true
bone density due to the impact of the jogging or running
may become more independent
the ability to physically meet and hopefully overcome emergency situations
Jo is a licensed mental health professional. She and her
husband are constantly on the go. They walk, garden, and tend their lawn, shop,
travel and exercise. They are fully engaged, mentally and physically, in living
life to the fullest.